We don't have cable TV nor do we have any digital basic channels. I hate it all. It's a waste of time, money, brain power, and many facets of modern societal memes and norms depress and disgust me. However, we do own a Roku 2, a small device that allows one to stream internet material (but no browsing) via channels such as Netflix, Hulu plus, etc. I've never been much of a boob-tube guy but over the last 6 months I've become infatuated with TED. If you're not familiar with it, its a simple online interface in which educated, interesting, enlightened people are filmed giving short (5-15 minutes) "lectures" to audiences, who are likely also of the same intellectual make-up. Topics are extremely diverse, wide ranging, and, in some cases humbling. As my wife eloquently put it a week ago (after we had just finished watching a video on the history of everything), "Man, I feel stupid. I need to read more." No shit. Me too.
Anyway, I just finished watching a short video by Arctic explorer, Ben Saunders. Although I must admit I'm still high off the afterglow of a longerish run today in which I wandered and explored without a map, I found this video/talk very, very, very moving and somewhat poignant. Sorry if that sounds weird (I am drinking several pale ale homebrews while I type this), but this guy just clicked with me. I've ZERO desire to ever trek across the Arctic or to put my life in precarious situations to risk "fame", but this guy gets it. I'm sure he doesn't realize it, but if you watch the video he could just as easily be summing up our lives as runners and outdoor adventurers.
Some of his ideas and phrases PERFECTLY sum up our awesome, running, outside lifestyles. Why do we do what we do? Because..........why not? Because we can. Because roads and trails are there. Because some day we're going to be dead and rotting away, recycled back into the ecosystem in some carbon-based molecules, to be consumed by future generations of organisms in some way shape and form. They'll know nothing of our existence. We'll be nothing other than organic fuel. We're not as special as we're lead to believe. Best to get out and drink up life and have fun while we can. But if we as organisms are not special, at least we can make our cognitive experiences be special.
He says (in talking about his trek from Siberia across the North Pole to Canada), "...the scenery I saw for nearly three months was unique to me. No one else will or could ever possibly see the views and vistas that I saw." Very Tao Te Ching- not being able to step into the same river twice. No person can experience a road or trail run EXACTLY as you do/did. Other lines like "I can't tell you what it was like. You'll never know what it was like", and "..to do, to try, to experience, to engage, to endeavor, other than to watch and wonder--that's where the real...meat of life is to be found, the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days" are pretty on point as well.
So, whatever. I'm going to stop there. I might be a little drunk anyway.
Just watch the video (it's about 10 minutes long). Then shut off your electronic devices and start planning your adventures. Plan interesting athletic sh*t. Think of something a little out there and just go do it. Run in the woods in the middle of nowhere at strange times of the day (or night), during less than desirable conditions. Get covered in mud. Freeze your ass off. Sweat your ass off. Push yourself to the brink of exhaustion. Bleed. Breathe. Laugh. Make the effort just because you can, it's there, and it'll never be the same as it is right now.
If you're here, on this stupid blog/site, reading my drunken rhetoric, then I know you know what I'm talking about. I know you get it.
There is a tomorrow but it's not today.